Submit your views on strengthening Scottish Charity Law

Submit your views on strengthening Scottish Charity Law

The Scottish Government has opened a survey about strengthening Scottish Charity Law. The survey builds upon consultation work done in 2019 and is seeking the views of people working in and with the charity sector, members of the public, and anyone with an interest in charity law.

Background:

Based on the passage of time since 2005 when the charity legislation was enacted and Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR)’s modernisation proposals the 2019 consultation was created. It invited opinions on increased transparency and accountability.

An overview of the 307 responses to the 2019 consultation was published, noting that more policy development and stakeholder engagement was required. The Information Commissioner’s Office submitted a response to the consultation, noting the need for a necessary and proportionate approach, ensuring there is a clear purpose for processing data and finding the least intrusive solution.

Further stakeholder work was convened by the Scottish Government, SCVO and ACOSVO in December 2020, with events held about Transparency & Accountability and Increased Regulatory Powers for OSCR.

The current survey is looking for responses to six proposals, including:

  • For OSCR to publish all annual reports and accounts in full on the Register
  • For OSCR to establish a new register of trustees, comprising an internal database for OSCR’s use only i.e. name, date of birth (for identification purposes), home address, email address and a reduced external register for public use. Publishing a list of disqualified trustees (removed by OSCR)
  • Changes to ensure parity with charity legislation for England and Wales which have extended automatic disqualification criteria for charity trustees and senior employees (Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer)
  • Giving OSCR the power to issue positive directions to charities
  • Allowing OSCR to remove charities from the Scottish Register that are persistently failing to submit annual reports and accounts and may no longer exist
  • Adding a new criterion that all charities in the Scottish Charity Register must have and retain a connection in Scotland

The survey closes on 19 February 2021